Magazine Design

Defining the Visual Architecture

Authored by: Carol Holstead

The Routledge Handbook of Magazine Research

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138854161
eBook ISBN: 9781315722283
Adobe ISBN: 9781317524533


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The intimate experience that magazines offer readers is as much visual as textual. A magazine expresses its personality through its visual style—its symbiotic use of type, art and photos, colors and space. A magazine is, in essence, branded by its design. And yet, scholarly journals, the design press and graphic design books include little on magazine design compared to the design of other media. William Owen, in the preface to the only book that comprehensively covers magazine design history, Modern Magazine Design, writes that graphic design books have neglected magazine design history.

That the design of this ubiquitous print medium has been given no systematic history or critique is something of an anomaly, … Yet despite the important part that magazines have played as laboratories of experiment, especially in the development of modern design principles and visual expression, the technical, journalistic and artistic evolution of magazine design has received only the marginal treatment that general graphic design histories can provide. 1

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